Scilly’s Transport Chair Urging Locals To Attend Exhibition On Airport Plans

st mary's airport proposalThe Chairman of the islands’ Transport committee, Dudley Mumford, is urging residents to attend an exhibition on Friday, outlining future improvements to the airport terminal building and runway.

News about the event, outlining a proposed £5m spend on the facility, met a hostile response from some islanders last week.

It’s widely thought that the terminal building, which would be remodelled under the plans, would likely have to be relocated following recent Civil Aviation Authority guidance.

The Council wants to use EGNOS, a navigation system that could aid flying in reduced visibility and increase our airport’s resilience. But the CAA requires 75m clear space between runways and buildings and the Council were told that the existing building is too close. Some islanders felt it was a waste of grant money to spend millions on a building that would soon have to be knocked down.

But the regulator has since written to say they understand the islands’ challenges and will work with the Council. Transport Chairman Dudley Mumford says he believes the airport reconstruction will now last 10 to 20 years.

He wants locals to see the plans and share comments on them because he says it’s important to enhance our tourism offer. Dudley says the plans need to incorporate facilities for airport security should more stringent passenger checks be required in the future.

A sizeable part of the £5m scheme, sourced mostly from European funding, will be spent on runway resurfacing. Dudley says that has to be done.

And he’s warning that there may not be another chance to gain such a level of support because of the diminishing grant funding pot available and the possibility that the UK may leave the European Union altogether in a future referendum.

Parking and vehicle access also have to change as the Council has been informed that passengers walking with luggage around reversing vehicles breaches health and safety.

The exhibition will be held at the Old Wesleyan Chapel on Friday, from midday to 7pm.